Nick Sadler never could have guessed at the destiny of the movie he had recently produced. With ‘An Irish Goodbye’, he had stumbled upon a bonafide awards hit. That night, it was to be Oscar-worthy, much to the shock and awe of its cast and crew. But had he known of the unlikely path the film would take to fulfill its destiny, he might have suspected a rather unorthodox Oscar journey.
He had found himself embroiled in a mysterious issue five hours before the gala. He remembers the scene well. He was getting ready in his sun-soaked Los Angeles home. With jacket in hand, he prepared to be presentable—until a rustling in the sleeve pulled him up short. “Oh my fuckin’ lord,” he cursed in surprise. In the silence and sweat of the room, a flurry of orange fur revealed a stray cats’ donation: cat hair, falling from the elbow of Sadler’s #Oscars95 showtime jacket.
And so he reluctantly taped it out, ready for his big night. When the time came and ‘An Irish Goodbye’ won its category, it was time to celebrate. But Sadler had only just arrived in town for the event, having flown in from his London base to witness the spectacle. True, tickets to the ceremony itself were unavailable, but still, his night was just beginning. In the moment, he decided on the next destination: whomever’s party was open to the winners.
What followed was a whirlwind of congratulations and celebrity attendance. But as his story circulated and divulged in the nights to come, a pattern began to form. Sadler had made great leaps in his faith with blockchain technology, looking to use it to help fund independent film projects. He’d hit some bumps along the road—namely, difficulty in understanding and using the platform for traditional production proceedings. Still, he had persisted.
When ‘An Irish Goodbye’ was made, instead of using Sadler’s Web3 platform, funds had been raised traditionally through developer Phil McKenzie’s ‘First Flights’ incubator. But Sadler was ok with this as he had seen something special in the script. Further, much to his delight, a high-profile Hollywood producer had taken an immediate shine to it, introducing the filmmakers to industry peers and contacts.
The ultimate outcome confirmed his hunch. Sadler had backed an all-round brilliant film, a story of two warring siblings and their bond in the wake of a mother’s passing, which had been a hit at various festivals, including the BAFTAs. But Sadler now had a precious bit of hindsight. Knowing what he did now, Sadler passionately articulated a new way of coming at Web3-funded film projects.
Rather than a project having to use the platform fully to succeed, Sadler saw the potential for Web3 to help elaborate on existing projects—an idea with promising implications. With the necessary resources present and a project that has had its inception enjoyed, it may be possible to use digital collectable NFTs or other Web3 tokens to give projects that extra nudge and necessary momentum as they move forward to find greater success.
Options such as these have been explored widely. As seen in successful projects such as “Calladita”, funding for projects can be found in other Web3 pathways. There are also grants like the Steven Soderbergh empowerment grant provided through Web3 funding portal Decentralised Pictures. Others have seen the power of platforms like Untold.io to help open up unaccredited investors to the industry.
But most powerful is how Web3 can be used to provide direction to creators and their respective creative communities. Aksu, CEO of Untold.io, preaches that Web3’s demands for creators to innovate continuously otherwise be left behind by a rapid aging landscape is a notion to which filmmakers must adhere. The “Calladita” example moved to launch a DAO governed by the film’s NFT holders, a powerful tool that can be used to create a library of information for the NFT holders and their film community.
This whole episode had been strange but thrilling for Sadler. With ‘An Irish Goodbye’ now an Oscar hit, there’s no denying that he’d had a part to play. From the hope he’d brought to Web3 filmmakers, to his sheer insight into what worked and what didn’t, his contribution had been monumental.
Perhaps, looking back to his moment of terror as cat hair presented with the bane of his Oscars night, he’d even stop to give thanks to that mysterious little feline. For it had been in its enigmatic after-party invitation that ‘An Irish Goodbye’ had seen its true destiny fulfilled. It wasn’t just a celebration of craft and skill, but of the technology they were able to use to get there, paved with a little help from C-3PO and a mysterious cat hair.